Every year the Academy Awards take place, and pretty much every year the ceremony is too long, saddled with segments that should’ve been cut or are included because of tradition. And every morning following the Oscars, many commentaries point out multiple ways the show is dull or should be improved. Needless to say, the Oscars needs a serious creative rewrite, and Will Ferrell had a great idea and offered to host the 2012 show, and of course the producers said no.
The context: In November 2011, it was announced that Eddie Murphy would not host after Brett Ratner, the director who had recently worked with Murphy, was relieved of producing duties after he had used a gay slur. Brian Grazer then stepped in to take over the show, Ferrell’s manager got in touch, and this is what happened.
“We [meaning himself and Zach Galifianakis; the two were making “The Campaign” at the time] will host the Oscars if you do a campaign that you can’t find an Oscars host up until the last second,” Ferrell recounted of his offer in an interview with The Huffington Post. “It’s going to be a surprise and we’ll walk out on stage. The whole premise of our hosting was that we were asked at the last second. So we’re always flustered. We don’t know the jokes. We don’t know where the cameras are. We do the entire show as if it’s unrehearsed.”
Yeah, that sounds amazing. The Oscar producers thought so too, but there was one problem —they couldn’t wrap their heads around marketing the show without announcing who would be hosting, so they declined. As Ferrell says, “we gave them gold,” and indeed, if the show had taken five seconds to toss out the well worn playbook and try something different, it could’ve been memorable. As it was, Billy Crystal stepped in (talk about sticking with tradition) and the show was….fine.
Thoughts? Leave ’em below. I think Ferrell and Galifianakis goofing it up is exactly the kind of levity the Oscars need right now.